April summary and May gaming goals

A weird month comes to an end, the first full month at home. I’ve been 50 days confined at home, the first 4 days voluntarily as a precaution, and then 46 by the alarm decree.

And that means, of course, that my routine has changed. I have been gaming a bit more, but not as much as I expected at first. After an initial rush during the first week or so, I’ve toned down. I spend more time reading, watching videos, or just sitting on the couch.


April gaming summary

I’ve been part of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons crowd, and I’m certainly enjoying it. I wasn’t so sure about this game when it was announced, but as confinement came, I thought that this could be a game for this “Take 10-30 minutes of mindless gaming and let it go” moments, and that is exactly how I play it. I haven’t finished my home, haven’t got a concert yet, but I am enjoying grabbing it a couple of times a day (or none in a few days) and just collecting fruits, talking with the neighbors, or just buying clothes. Obviously they hadn’t planned it like that, but the timing was perfect for Nintendo.

On the MMO front, I’ve been wandering from game to game without making my mind about which one to make my main game.

I restarted on Uncharted Waters and was having fun for a few days, but the grind became too much too soon. I’ll come back, but not now.

I’ve devoted a couple of sessions to Guild Wars 2, but… I don’t know what I have with this game. I like it, but I can only play it for 3 or 4 days before I want something different. Back to the fridge.

Given that there was a bonus XP campaign, I went back to WoW to level a new char. My first rogue. Didn’t get to level 30.

I bought Project Gorgon in February, and I have it installed. I’m thinking about playing it, but I haven’t felt like that yet.

And finally, I reactivated my FFXIV account. I have a level 80 White Mage (healer) and ~70 Black Mage (DPS). So, obviously, I switched to my level 23 Marauder (tank). After a couple of minutes reading the skill tooltips, I launched my Leveling Roulette and did a Copperbell Mines run. It went… eeeemh… we didn’t wipe (that’s something, isn’t it?). Seriously, it wasn’t the perfect run I would like, but it wasn’t catastrophic, either. Especially being the first run for the healer, and me coming back to the game just that day. Nobody died and we got to the end.

My May Gaming Goals

  • I think I’m sticking with FFXIV for the moment as my main MMO game. I plan to level the tank up to level 50 via dungeons. When I feel like playing solo, there is still a lot to do in the gathering and crafting fronts.
  • I will try to get into a guild too. Preferably a Spanish-speaking guild, because oral English is still a bit stressful for me and I don’t feel like putting the effort right now.
  • Of course, I’ll keep playing Animal Crossing. No goal here beyond play and enjoy it.
  • I’m going to try taking more screenshots. I always end up launching games while I’m posting because I can’t find a single screenshot, and I would prefer to just browse among the ones I’ve taken while playing.
  • Assuming I’m going to play some other game, because only 2 may be boring, I am debating between Project Gorgon and The Outer Worlds.
  • And, finally, about blogging… I’ve been writing less than my goal from April, so I don’t want to become too ambitious. I will try to get two posts each week. That would make 8 post during May, but if I get to 6, I would consider the goal acomplished.

Gaming with friends in the 90’s

Walking the nostalgia path tends to raise good vibes, although sometimes it makes me feel old when I surprise me thinking “How far times have changed…”. It remembers me of my grandfather saying things like that.

But it’s true: The times they are A changing.

Today, (and especially in this COVID-19 days) when we play “together” with friends, we are each on their own home, sharing voice or video and playing over our own devices via the Internet. But back in the ’80s and ’90s, we didn’t have the chance. Playing together meant going to the same place and playing on the same computer or console.

Well, we also had the chance of going out of home and spend on the arcade machines. I remember playing countless hours (and pesetas) of Tetris, Double Dragon, or Bomberman.

But at home, we started with some different kinds of game parties. Even if the chronology of the games is not exactly like this, we were moving from one to another as we were growing up. Certainly, we can still play some hot-seat or a soccer match even today, but not frequently.

1.- Hot seat games

Games where you would play a whole game each other (sometimes only one life each one), and then compare scores (or not, just for fun).I remember doing this on:

  • TetrisTetris screenshot
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Blues Brothers
  • Titus the Fox
  • Prince of Persia
  • 4D Sports Driving (aka Stunts).

2.- Multiplayer games

Games where more than one (usually two) people could play at the same time, one against the other.

  • Italy 90 (soccer)Super off road screenshot
  • Super Off-Road
  • California Games (and II, and Winter/Summer Games)
  • Street Fighter ¿II?
  • Worms

But as we were growing up, we were playing more cooperatively and began playing one next to the other, taking turns on the keyboard, with the other(s) giving tips, finding solutions…

3.- Single-player games, multiple players

  • The Lost VikingsSupaplex screenshot
  • Lemmings (and 2, and Christmas…).
  • Supaplex

And finally, we got ourselves into the golden age of graphic adventures. We could play them the same as these last games, sitting around one mouse and keyboard, but when we were back at our homes, we could playback up to the same point and try to push the story further. Being the one who solved THAT puzzle was amazing. We could even keep playing on days we wouldn’t see each other at home, because we could exchange tips at school or by phone. In some kind of sense, we were already playing together in the distance, even if we didn’t have modems yet.

4.- Graphical Adventures

  • Maniac MansionLoom screenshot
  • The Secret of Monkey Island saga
  • King Quest saga
  • The Legend of Kyrandia
  • Loom (OMG, using music to cast spells, what a weird and marvelous piece of art).

Out of the list, I remember our first “LAN parties”. We didn’t even have a LAN. Imagine carrying your heavy as hell CPU and a CRT monitor to a friend’s house. Before you are old enough to drive so… walking. Once there, you start soldering some cables to make a Serial or Parallel connection between your friend’s computer and yours and… DOOM!

We weren’t too good at soldering, but the cables would usually work for one or two sessions before we needed to start fixing the soldering points.

As the ’90 were fading, we began to get our modems, most of us left our hometown to study, and things changed a lot. But the memories are there, we had good times playing together and most of us keep hanging out now and then.



Testing the (Uncharted) Waters again

Sometimes I like to play some less known MMOs, and one that I played for a while was Uncharted Waters. The premise is that you are an adventurer during the discoveries era. So you start as a captain in one of the European powers and gradually gain a reputation, either in combat, trade or exploration; usually a mix of them. You level the three branches independently and tons of skills on top of that. It becomes really grindy but, having so many different activities, you can mix and match to avoid boredom.

During years, playing only a few days each time I got myself to a pretty decent spot. Not even close to the “endgame” level, but I had my own colony, permits across al Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of America, some decent skills… and then, the game was sold to a different publisher and all the progress was lost. Maybe active players got to transfer their characters or got some kind of compensation package, but I didn’t. I wasn’t playing at the moment and, if some email was sent to warn me, I missed it. So, when I tried to come back and found myself without my character, decided that I was done with the game.

(Goes to black. Transitions to present time)

Right now, the game loop of this game is precisely what I want. I can set a course and travel semi-AFK for a few minutes, or I can mindlessly grind a skill. So here I am, slowly leveling my Spanish captain.

Char info
Here I was, at the academy

It seems that they are still adding content, but I see less active players than the other times I played. there are lots of AFK players on the big cities, but across the sea, not as many ships as I remembered. Maybe they are on higher level zones, mind you, I’ve barely traveled to Africa yet, but even high-level traders tend to come back to Europe, and I don’t see a lot of them. But even if the game may not be long-term viable, I’m enjoying it right now, and that’s enough for me.

Right now, I am at levels 14 (adventurer), 13 (merchant) and 7 (maritime). I own port permits across all Europe, Far East, and the western Africa coast, and my main focus is on improving fame to get permits to go to Asia when the sailing times really start to become long. The game comes as a rate of 1 real-time minute per 1 day in-game sailing time.

Disguised character
Disguised to visit Beirut

Monthly recap

I knew that November was going to be a slow month on gaming, but as always reality came to crash plans and I’ve had even less time available than expected.

  • EVE Online: I’ve barely logged in EVE. I’ve managed to squish 3 fleet ops this month and zero mining.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: I decided to cancel my subscription knowing that I was not going to play.
  • Lord of the Rings Online: This is the only game I’ve committed a significant amount of time this month. I have a level 23 Warden with Master Journeyman in all 3 crafting skills and a couple of level~8 alters (mostly for crafting and banking).

I’m not going to commit to any goal for December. It seems that it’s going to be a crazy month and I have absolutely no clue about how much free time I’m going to have or how tired I’ll be when I have it.

Probably I’m going to hit Winter/Holydays events on some games (Star Trek Online, EVE, Lord of the Rings…).

Out of my “personal bubble”, this month Warframe Wildstar has closed its servers. I tried to play that game three times and never got too far (about level 10?), it wasn’t for me, but MMO’s closing is sad no matter what.

On the other side, Fallout 76 launched. I don’t think it’s for me, either. I enjoy Fallout games as single player games, but I don’t see myself out there sharing the experience with other people. Nonetheless, it’s good to have new games around, even if they are not 100% “pure” MMO’s.


CCP has released “The Onslaught” patch for EVE Online on November the 14th.

Among all the small fixes and balance adjustments, it’s coming with novelties in four big areas:

  1. PVE: A new iteration on the Triglavian sites (introduced last summer) that will allow a small 3 people frigate fleet to join forces and cooperate cleaning a deadspace pocket. Also, for solo cruiser pilots, there is an optional PVP branch with (potentially) better rewards. It looks good, but… I’m not into PVE in this particular game. I just do the bare minimum to keep my wallet on the black side, so… not for me.
  2. UI: The Activity Tracker. As far as I understand, it’s used to measure how much time you put in doing a different kind of things. E-peen measurement? I’ll pass on that. They also added the “EVE search”. A search bar that will try to find a term into “anything” (characters, corporations, alliances, skills, ships, objects…). It can be useful, sometimes, but it can also overwhelm you with tons of unrelated results.
  3. New ships: Two new (triglavian) ships: destroyer and battlecruiser. As with the previous battleship, they seem to be useful in some circumstances but they will probably be scarce and expensive (due to the difficulty on being produced), so they won’t get a place on any doctrine in the near future.
  4. New structures: As one of the final steps in getting rid of the POS system, they’ve added 3 new Upwell structures: a cyno beacon, a cyno jammer, and a jump gate. The first two basically substitute their old counterparts with some adjustments on the timers. But the jump gate is not just a new “jump bridge”. It opens the possibility of joining with a gate owned by a different entity (hello blue-donut), can be used by capital ships and doesn’t generate jump fatigue (hello 2007, I’m back!!).

I’m impressed by the amount of changes that comes with this patch. I think most of them are good changes, can’t see anything wrong (I’m on the fence about the jump fatigue on the jump gates, we’ll see). But I don’t feel like logging in to try it.

I’m not saying goodbye to the game (not yet, at least), but this patch (even thinking that it’s good) has put me a bit off. Maybe I’m just becoming a bittervet?

Middle Earth tribulations

Standing Stone announced a “Legendary” server for Lord of the Rings Online that is supposed to launch during this month in two days.

It’s not exactly a classic server, but something more in line with Everquest progression servers. It will launch with all the new races and classes and modern mechanics but limited to level 50 and pre-Moria zones. In theory, the subsequent expansions will be progressively unlocked every 4 months.

Dwarf Guardian

The idea is that all the server population can progress at a similar pace. You will not be alone trying to do a low-level instance, the economy (crafting, gathering…) is capped too, bells, whistles, pink unicorns…

I joined LOTRO when it became Free to Play. It’s never been my main game, but I’ve been in and out of it for a few years. The result is that I have a few chars in the 30’s-40’s bracket and one Guardian in the 60’s.

The last expansion that I bought was Riders of Rohan (mounted combat sounded soooooo good!) but I’ve never actually played it.

And here I am, considering a come-back in the Legendary server.

With any re-start comes choosing  race, class, crafting…

Given that guardian and burglar are the two classes that I’ve spent most of my time with, I’m passing in both of them for now. After playing just a few minutes with each old alter, I have now reduced the choices to minstrel, champion or warden.


About the race, it will (up to some point) come limited from the class. I’m not a huge fan of the hobbit models, but the lore…

Of course, after choosing a class and race, I should study the virtues and focus on some of them. That would’ve been ideal but with the server coming out in just two days and without having decided yet… It’s probably not happening in time.

The server comes up on Thursday. Given that I can’t play this weekend, I’m going to focus on choosing a class/race combo, loging-in on the first day (assuming the queue/stability allows me) and make sure I can create the char/reserve the name. Next week is when probably I will actually start playing. I may even create 2 or 3 chars to ensure my names and sleep over the choice during the weekend.

November goals

Even if it’s a bit late for a monthly post, the previous one became out on the 6th of October so I am “technically” in time. I mean, obviously not, but I am going to concede myself that.

Looking back to the October goals, it’s been a bit mixed.

  • EVE Online: About the weekly fleets I’m more than delivered. Even if I have barely seen any combat, because there was nobody defending, I showed there. The logistic wing on an uncontested structure bash is as fun as mining in High-sec, but… Talking about mining… I’ve barely mined with the Rorqual: Less than 1 billion ISK during October. Probably I shouldn’t have bought it.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: I completed both goals within the first half of the month. It seems I overestimated the amount of grind in leveling gathering, or it’s been reduced at some point. So Herbalism and Mining are 50+ and fishing is 30+ now.
  • Guild Wars 2: As predicted, I’ve focused on 2 of the 3 games so, even if I’ve logged in a couple of times, I am still far from 80.

After closing October, let’s go with November.

This month is going to be scarce about online gaming time. I have 3 full weekends out of town, so I am basically restricted to my short evening sessions during weekdays. On top of that, Red Dead Redemption 2 is here and I plan to expend time with it.

I will stick to the same idea this month of having goals on three different games, assuming than probably I am going to focus on two of them and neglect another.

  • EVE Online: Once again, one fleet a week is the bare minimum I’ll stick to. I still want to mine-back the money I’ve spent in the Rorqual. We will see…
  • Lord of the Rings Online: My top level in this game is around 65. With the legendary server announced to launch this month, it will be a good chance to restart with a lot of other low-level players. Depending on the final date for launch, the goal will be different, of course, but I think that getting to ~20 should be fine. If I remember correctly is when you can get the first group instances.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Black Mage to 70 (from 67) and progressing the post-expansion MSQ.

Perimeter update

First, a little update about the Perimeter campaign. We did the armor timers on the structures yesterday without opposition. It feels a bit disappointing because it could have been a funny battle (and a good show for Hi-sec residents, too), but…

And, on top of that, some corrections over my last post. I wrote that we were deploying a faction Fortizar (and it’s true) but somehow I didn’t realize that we were deploying a Keepstar just next to it (probably was deployed later, judging by the time it finished deploying). We are talking about the first Keepstar deployed on High Security ever. Destroying it without capital and super capital fleets is going to be really hard for anyone who wants to try.

Burning Perimeter

A couple of weeks after the end of the war, we’ve started a new campaign. This time is a different kind of beast, as we are engaging in High-security space.

It’s been about 10 years since the last time I had a fight on High-sec, I didn’t even have an Overview ready for this and judging for what I hear on comms, most “testies had never been on a High-sec war.

We’ve started the campaign by reinforcing some enemy citadels on Perimeter , just 1 jump ahead from Jita (the main trading hub in the game). We were expecting some oposition (judging by the War declarations that came yesterday) but for now, we are just bashing structures and creating TiDi around us.

List of declared wars
List of current wars

We’ve gone into several fleets simultaneously attacking different structures each one, to maximize the number of citadels reinforced in one go.

The first reinforced citadel (by the fleet I was on) was a Fortizar (Perimeter Planet V Panfam Secured Hub). Its armor timer will come out tomorrow during EUTZ.

After that, we’ve come after a small refinery (IChooseYou Tatara Max Reprocess). By then, it seemed pretty clear that they weren’t coming to fight today. Too bad, because I don’t know if tomorrow I’ll arrive home in time to be fighting, and bashing structures without opposition is boring.

Citadel under attack

And finally, we were to the Sotillo (IChooseYou Sotiyo) to help another of our fleets end it before docking up again.

Fortizar deploying

Of course, we also have our own Fortizar deploying now (a faction one, this time). It will be online (or dead) by tomorrow. Having a Fortizar next door to Jita will probably mean that we will have to come and defend it every now and then. This may be interesting (content!!) or a chore, depending on who comes to attack it. Time will tell.